When I set out to design my new office, I set out to create an experience for my clients. The day you have an appointment with KFG, I want you to be thinking, "Cool, we get to go to Rick’s office today!”
My vision was to design more than a nicely appointed and laid out office. I wanted to create an experience for my clients that would be similar to visiting the most prestigious financial advisory firm in London or New York. To me, that meant an intimate setting, elegant but not stuffy, laid out and furnished similarly to a Victorian mansion, with all the trappings of a 5-star hotel or restaurant.
Judging from the remarks of one couple who exclaimed, “When we opened the front door we weren’t sure if we were entering an elegantly appointed house or an office!” I’d say "mission accomplished."
The central part of the experience is our new dining room where clients can dine or "take tea" in relaxed splendor. When you visit the top financial firms in the world, lunch or tea is typically served on-premises. Of course, where there is a dining room, a kitchen and a cook need to be nearby. One of the most exciting days of my life was the day we hired Edythe Adams to run the kitchen!
In our old office, the teapot and coffee grinder were located 2 feet from my client’s chair. I would have to bring any conversation to a halt while I ground coffee beans! Now, coffee and tea is served to clients in English china. Our staff at KFG has given attention to all the finest details. Even the "clotted" cream for the scones is imported from England.
Why such extravagance? After all, we’re a financial planning firm, not a restaurant.
I think understanding me and the way I like to operate helps. I hired Tracy Beckes, the top marketing coach in the financial planning industry, four years ago with the intention of growing my practice. One of the first points she made was that before we could market my practice, I needed to have a firm grasp of what I wanted to create. "Marketing a professional practice is not like marketing widgets," she told me.
I’ll have to admit to being slightly resistant initially–I was looking for a quick fix. I gradually came to understand what Tracy meant. After a couple of years–drilling down to the core dimensions of my ideal client base and preferred working/meeting environment–my "dream practice" was up and running.
Considering that I’m an Anglophile who enjoys elegant surroundings, good food, good wine, valued relationships, and afternoon ‘cream’ teas, our new digs are completely understandable. It’s no secret, at least to our clients, that KFG does some of the most creative and cutting edge financial planning in the nation. We are doing things here that haven’t even caught on in New York or Chicago. Why not provide that leading service in one of the most elegant and unique physical settings around?